Australia Readopts Term ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’
Jakarta, Indonesianpost.com – Australia has announced that it will once again use the term “occupied Palestinian territories” in official communications. This move is seen as a step to strengthen diplomacy for Palestine.
“This (change) is consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions, consistent with the approach taken by important partners including the UK, New Zealand, and the European Union,” said Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, as quoted by Anadolu Agency on Wednesday (8/9/2023).
“This term has been used, including on occasions in the past by previous foreign ministers and governments, it’s consistent with much of the nomenclature used in UN contexts and as I’ve said, used by important partners including the UK, New Zealand, and the European Union,” she added.
Last year, Australia also reversed its decision to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The government also reiterates Australia’s longstanding and previous position on the final status of Jerusalem, which is to be determined as part of a peace negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian people,” Wong said.
“By using this term, we are clarifying the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, as areas occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, and the occupation is ongoing,” she added.
She also stated that the government caucus of the Labor Party is seeking ways to strengthen Australia’s objections to the occupation. “By affirming the illegality of the occupation under international law and it being a significant impediment to peace,” Wong said.
According to ABC News, the term “occupied territories” has been used by several foreign ministers over the past few decades. However, in 2014, most ministers refrained from using the term when referring to the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has welcomed this step. “Seeing a positive development in Australia’s position that is committed to international law and UN resolutions, and supporting international efforts to revive the peace process in line with international peace references, especially the principle of two states,” the ministry said.
The ministry stated that Palestine looks forward to the Australian government implementing decisions that are in line with international law and legitimacy.